TWO RAF student pilots who died when their plane crashed into a remote field in Ryedale have been named by police.
Cameron James Forster, 21, from Sussex, and Ajvir Singh Sandhu, 25, from Essex, were killed as the light aircraft crash landed in a field off Mains Lane, between Castle Howard and the A64, in North Yorkshire, at about 10.40am on Saturday.
Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) investigators continue to probe the cause of the crash.
The Castle Howard family have sent their “heartfelt condolences” to the grieving relatives of the pilot and his passenger.
Investigations were continuing today and crash investigators were sent to the scene on Saturday, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed.
Nicholas Howard, the executive co-chairman of the Castle Howard Estate, said: “The sudden shock is always terrible for those close to fatal accidents, and my heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those who died in this crash.”
Members of the public alerted the police to the crash at around 10.40am on Saturday, between the A64 and Castle Howard – the famous estate which has been immortalised in both small and big screen versions of Evelyn Waugh’s celebrated novel Brideshead Revisited.
Supt Mark Grange, of North Yorkshire Police, said the plane landed more than 200m away from the nearest houses and was still mostly intact.
“Two males who were in the aircraft were pronounced dead at the scene. It looks like it came straight down,” he said.
“It looks like an aircraft, with two wings and a tail fin where it should be.
“It’s in a bad way and it’s obviously come down heavily. It’s sat on its underside so it has not flipped. Whether they tried to land like that I don’t know.
“I cannot say where they were going and what they were doing in the air.
“The fire service attended the scene just to make sure the area is safe because of worries about the amount of fuel – they have declared it safe.”
He added that paramedics declared the two men dead at the scene and gave no more details about them.
“We are still out trying to locate family to inform them of what’s happened,” Mr Grange said.
A spokesperson for the nearby Crown and Cushion pub, in Welburn, added: “All we heard was sirens about 10.30am. A lot of people heard the fire engine go and stop but we didn’t see the plane.”
Roads in the area were closed and members of the public were advised to keep away from the area. Police cordoned off the scene for the AAIB.
Up to 20 firefighters attended the scene and set up a foam blanket around the aircraft in case it caught fire, a North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said.
The spokesman confirmed the brigade sent three appliances and one incident support unit with its own appliance to the scene.
An air ambulance and a land ambulance were also sent to the crash site, a spokeswoman for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service added.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said: “The investigation is continuing. Investigators are on the scene again today.”